BERT Update: Information You’ve Probably Already Seen But We Want to Provide You With Information Too!

bert update seoUpdates are not new to Google, and most times these updates have a direct impact on all Google users, especially business owners. Sometimes this impact is quite minimal. Other times it brings in penalties, so where does the BERT update stand? Is it scary stuff or not? Let’s find out.

On October 24, 2019, Google announced the BERT update. Google described this latest algorithm update as “one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search.” They are correct.

BERT is an acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. In scientific or more complex terms, BERT is a neural network-based technique used for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training.

In simple terms, it’s just a tool or technique for interpreting words better. Hence, Google has employed this update to help interpret search queries better. Yes, this means those unrelated search result you have encountered in the past that often seem like Google is just been difficult on purpose are now a thing of the past.

Your queries will get better interpretations and give more straightforward answers saving us all time, frustration, and the rigors of trying to simplify our queries.

Google has also referred to this update as the most important update in five years. Again, we agree. The BERT update will impact up to 10% of queries or 1 in every 10.

While this is thrilling on one part, it is mostly if you are looking at it from a user perspective. As an online business owner, it’s natural to wonder how this impacts your business SEO and overall digital health.

First, the good news is that this is a penalty-free update. It’s not one of those situations where you soon or suddenly end up penalized by an algorithm. It’s a good chance to get more intentional and upgrade your business to benefit from this update.

Experts will tell you that this update won’t help websites that have poorly written content.

This is the time for good quality update that answers your audience’s questions as clearly and directly as possible. Go for informational keywords that help you stand out to users now more than ever. Stick with writing in a natural way and offering value.

Aside from this small impact on SEO and search results, there’s pretty much nothing else to be worried about. In our opinion, this is no different from what experts have always advised – fill your website with valuable, natural, helpful content. Rather, it only enforces it.

Google is also trying to eliminate the common phenomenon of keyword-ese. Keyword-ese is the stressful situation where you have to be overly specific or twist the words in your search just to get the right answers from a search. In Google’s blog, it’s clearly stated, “No matter what you’re looking for, or what language you speak, we hope you’re able to let go of some of your keyword-ese and search in a way that feels natural for you.”

how to rank on google

How to Get Your Small Business Seen on Google

Small business or not, you need a solid means of promoting your business and generating leads if you must succeed in your venture. It’s no secret that things have changed drastically for businesses when it comes to marketing and the good ole traditional methods just don’t cut it anymore.

Why is visibility on Google important?

Well, why not! Everyone, including you, depends on Google to tell them if they are in love, what gifts to buy for friends, and, most importantly where to shop. Having visibility on Google helps you to change your game the way most big and successful businesses have done and makes your customers come to you.

How can it be done?

Now, you are asking the right questions. Visibility on Google can be achieved by fixing the following key areas of your business:

  • Website Design
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing

Website Design

Your website on Google is your virtual office. It is where your potential clients make the first contact and where they will decide if you are worth their time, trust, and money.

Start by creating a user-friendly website; make navigation easy for your services to be right out there. Next, fill that website with ‘valuable’ content. The emphasis here is on valuable because if it’s all fluff, no one would read more than a few lines and there will be no conversion for sales.

Make sure your content sells your business without sounding pushy or filled with keywords. Give something back with a blog and remember to make your website mobile friendly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As a business owner, you soon discover that setting up a website is the easy part; SEO, on the other hand, can be tricky because it evolves constantly.

It is what helps your website show up in web users’ queries. SEO is a broad aspect that involves a technical side; using appropriate keywords, tags, alt text, links, and much more is necessary to rank on Google search.

Reviews are also a big part of SEO and ranking highly on Google.

It may take time to build SEO for your site and experience results, but this is best done by a professional.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are filled with millions of potential clients just waiting to see what you have to offer. You must leverage social media channels to improve your customer base online.

Most of these platforms offer paid advertising services, Google does too, and with proper planning, you can establish a solid online presence using social media.

Share business updates, helpful content, or regular promotion to get more people to know about your business. All links will take them to your website. This tells the search engine you have something good going on and prompts the system to rank your website for others to see.

Although the points explained above are the most vital, there are other factors to put in place for your business to get seen on Google. For faster results, hire professionals to help you.

The Impact of Reviews on Local SEO

Local SEO is the optimization of your business for relevant queries. It is when your business becomes recognized by search engines during a search that relates to your local area. For example, if a web user searches for ‘restaurants near me’ and he lives in Utah, the search engine will provide results that show top-ranking restaurants in that area.

You may wonder what this has to do with reviews, but research has shown that there are a lot of ways reviews come into play for local SEO. They help to ensure ranking and visibility and equally contribute to a client’s decision to buy from you.

Search engines like Google are constantly seeking consistency. They want to know if your business provides value and if it always satisfies consumers. There are several ways this can be determined and they include traffic, clicks, and more. Business owners often work to improve their rankings on Google by providing quality content or relying on SEO experts, but reviews have become one of the most important ways.
To benefit from the impact of reviews on local SEO, you must know how it works.

Review Diversity
Your reviews must come from different sources. Search engines recognize the diversity in reviews, such as when they are found on several review websites. Don’t streamline your reviews to just Google or Facebook. Make use of various platforms, especially those specific to your industry.

Review Regularity
For reviews to become relevant, they have to be regular and recent. If you have many reviews from the previous year, that is a great start. However, while this sort of regularity is sufficient for good ranking, it may not be convincing for clients. According to a survey, 85% of customers believe that reviews as old as three months ago are no longer relevant.

Quantity of reviews
There is no such thing as too many reviews or enough reviews. The more reviews a business has, the better, especially highly positive ones. It goes to show how impressed clients are with your service.

Quality of reviews
Four to five stars are quality reviews. They are what make your business look good and professional. If you rank with lower stars or poor quality reviews, it will not convince potential clients. Rather, they will move on to consider your competitors.

Understanding the impact of reviews on local SEO is vital, but the next step is to work on making it benefit your business. Start by developing a strategic way to ask for reviews. Add a customer review feed to your business page or website to encourage new customers to leave their reviews and to show that your business is reliable. Seeing recent quality reviews on your business online pages or website can go a long way to convert clients. Claiming your Google My Business profile is also essential. Finally, you must track all reviews regarding your business and respond appropriately. Manage your online reputation to ensure that search engines can recognize the value you bring.

How Can Customer Reviews Help SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the center of an online business. It is how you increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your business or website via organic search engine results. Many business owners invest large funds, time, and effort to get their business to rank higher. Usually, SEO involves inbound links, content creation, and much more. So, it might surprise you to learn that customer reviews can help you with SEO.

When it comes to customer reviews, most business owners don’t like to get into it. Customer reviews are hard to acquire and even when you have clients who leave reviews, you have to worry about those who drop bad ones. As an online business owner, you must know other customers depend on your existing reviews to guide them in a decision to buy from you. In fact, statistics show 92% of customers read online reviews and another 68% will trust your business more if they find online reviews from other customers. These reviews function as peer-to-peer talk in your internet marketing campaign. They help customers speak to each other rather than worry about trusting a business’ bias advertising.

For SEO, the most important way customer reviews can be a game changer for your business is keywords and relevance. Believe it or not, customers use keywords in their reviews. It’s easy to find phrases like ‘best electrical contractor in Utah’ in customer reviews and these words can help Google present you before more customers during a web search. If you did a practical test and searched these words on the web, you will notice the results that appear contain these words in bold letters.

To Google, fresh consistent reviews show relevance, authority, and authenticity. They help to keep your content updated with little effort or maintenance needs from your end. Some potential clients spend time reading these reviews as soon as they pop up from their search. They are also tempted to visit the entire website and get a feel of your business. This gives you traffic and higher conversion rates, and the best part is, you didn’t have to pay for it.

Google favors highly rated sites. If you use the internet as much as you sell on it, you would find that search engine result pages are shorter now. They are primarily occupied by highly rated sites for your search results. So, even when you didn’t come to buy, those visible star ratings keep on calling to you.

Customer reviews don’t just provide fresh user-generated content, but they also give you ranking for products. Customers will give a better, unbiased description of your product along with mentioning its name. This improves visibility and ranking for your products. Customer reviews are good for overall local SEO.

Knowing how customer reviews help SEO is exciting, but getting the reviews in question might be another thing entirely. A few tips include:

  • Encourage customers to leave reviews but never force them.
  • Reply to each review
  • Have an automated way to collect reviews.
  • Sign up with the best third-party review sites.

The Review Generator is here to help businesses grow their online reviews. Through our program, our clients have seen an increase in reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Learn more by contacting us via our website, email, or by calling (818) 588-0097.